The contestant must appear on the edge of the mat wearing a one-piece singlet of the color assigned to the team. In Greco-Roman wrestling, contestants may wear a full or knee-length singlet, or one that extends below the knee. In freestyle wrestling, the singlet may only go to mid-thigh. The singlet must adhere to the body. Light knee pads may be worn.

Ear protectors or reinforced headgear are forbidden. Any addition to this dress is prohibited.

The contestant must wear wrestling shoes providing firm support for the ankles. However, the use of heeled shoes, shoes with buckles or with any metallic part, is prohibited. Wrestlers must not walk on any other surface than the wrestling mat when wearing wrestling shoes.

It is also prohibited to wear bandages on wrists, arms or ankles, except in the case of injury or on prescription from a doctor; apply any greasy or sticky substance to the body; arrive at the mat perspiring; or wear any object that might cause injury to the opponent, such as rings, bracelets, etc.

At the weigh-in for each competition day, each contestant must be clean shaven, or else have a beard of several months' growth. Hair must be short or tied back, if the referee deems necessary.

The Mat

International wrestling is contested on a mat, with a nine meter circular competition area. There is also a 1.2 to 1.5 meter protection border on all international mats.

There is a red band, a one-meter passivity "zone" on the inside of the edge of the nine meter circle, where wrestlers are encouraged by officials to stay in the competition area.

Back to The Mat